Disney To Lay Off 32,000 Workers As Theme Parks Continue To Struggle During Pandemic 

The Walt Disney Corporation announced this week that they would be increasing the number of employee layoffs projected for the beginning of 2021 by 4,000. Most of these layoffs are occurring within the theme parks themselves, as most parks throughout the nation are greatly struggling to keep up with the economic loss the Covid-19 pandemic has brought on. 

This increase in layoffs brings Disney’s projected total of employment layoffs to 32,000. The company filed with the SEC this week revealing the extended layoff plans, which will largely take place in Disney Parks, Experiences, and Product sectors. Back in September the entertainment giant announced it would be reducing its workforce by 28,000 employees due to the pandemic. 

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Overall Disney has estimated that the net economic impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on its “full-year segment operating income” was approximately $7.4 billion in losses. The Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products sector accounts for $6.9 billion of those losses as well due to a complete lack in revenue and profit. 

Downtown Disney in California recently reopened some of its shopping and dining facilities, with a slew of Covid-19 restrictions, as a means of making up for some of the loss, however, it’s not nearly enough to make back the billions. 

On October 3rd Disney had approximately 203,000 employees throughout the nation; around 155,000 of those workers were in the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products sectors. The global workforce was made up of around 80% full-time employees and 20% part-time, meaning a lot of these individuals’ livelihoods have been completely uprooted and destroyed from this pandemic. 

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Disney’s merchandise licensing business has also taken a hit amid the pandemic due to a multitude of studio entertainment delays. Theatrical releases of certain films have been cancelled and thus the marketing sectors for those films, shows, and characters have been thrown off their projected schedules as well. This has led to stock piles upon stockpiles of merchandise just sitting in warehouses; like many businesses have seen happen with their product throughout this pandemic. 

Advertising sales at the companies media networks have struggled as well, and direct-to-consumer and international segments are also unable to operate to their fullest extent due to a lack of business. Since March 2020, like most entertainment companies have seen, there has been a significant decline in production and availability of content for Disney. 

Production of most film and television content has been suspended indefinitely until the pandemic is brought under greater control in the US. Disney has claimed that some film and television productions have resumed operations with dozens of restrictions and health and safety measures in place.